Patio House by OOAK Architects

A Greek summer home by OOAK Architects set over two plateaus provides a lesson in architectural contrasts and parallels.

The landscape emerging from the south-eastern Aegean sea in Karpathos, Greece is wild and untamed and yet it’s here, among jagged rock and wind-battered brush that a Paris-based couple decided to lay down their roots with Patio House.

Designed by Stockholm-based architecture studio OOAK (One Of A Kind), Patio House cantilevers delicately over a dramatic plot of land with direct views of the windsurfers on the beach of Afiarti. From the exterior, OOAK has managed to deftly showcase a distinct separation between the man-made and the organic. The house’s exterior is rendered in reinforced concrete forming clean lines that nestle gently against the salt-hewn rock face. Timber detailing on window frames and doors soften the exterior just enough to entice the question: what might lie within such a confident yet considered structure?

Inside, the brutalist architectural vernacular is tempered by signs of homely warmth, where plastered walls and stone floors offer a tactile riposte to the rugged terrain outside. The communal living areas are punctuated with flashes of colour like the soft moss green timber kitchen, a large red woven rug that anchors the living room and hand- painted plates hanging over an oversized family dining table. Beneath the primary structure lies a second plateau, with a large outdoor terrace and theatrical dining spot.

With vistas overlooking the sea and neighbouring coastline, the outdoor space blurs the lines between interior and exterior living.

But it’s the views from within the residence that command the most attention, formed through a tableau of windows ranging from floor-to-ceiling to smaller frames; each giving the illusion that the whole structure is floating over the ocean. The same composition is explored further through a large terrace that flows seamlessly from within the home’s living areas. With broad vistas over the sea and neighbouring coastline, this outdoor space blurs the limits between interior and exterior, inviting the owners to enjoy the harsh beauty of the landscape from a protected inner sanctum.

Over time, it’s easy to see how Patio House might become integrated into its environment, like a shell being absorbed into rock. Yet for now, OOAK has designed a framework that not only shelters its inhabitants but draws the jaw-dropping panoramas of the outside in.

This piece originally appeared in est magazine issue 33.

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